The Value of a Good System

Until we feel the pain of its absence, we rarely appreciate the value of a good system. Restaurants, airports, amusement parks, the DMV…good systems are essential and we quickly notice when they are missing. In fact I bet you can think of a personal experience where something was so chaotic and disorganized and you likely thought “I wish they had a system for this!”

Systems allow you to serve many but should never replace personal care. A good system should actually enhance the personal care someone experiences from your organization. (click to tweet) Unfortunately it is too easy for people or organizations to lean into systems and forget about the intentionality that is still needed for individuals.

When it comes to working with a team, whether you are recruiting new volunteers or managing the people you have you need to have a clean and clear system.

If you have ever questioned whether or not you need a good system for working with people here is a simple rule: If your cell phone does not hold the name/number of everyone in your reach…you need a good system. (click to tweet)  Drastic? Yes, because without a good system people fall through the cracks.

Your personal leadership skillset will likely be enough to help you stay connected to a core group of people around you. But if you hope to grow your leadership and grow your team you have to learn to leverage systems.

My area of passion and focus is engaging people in service within the local church. Here are 5 key components of a good system for engaging new volunteers, figure out how to include these in your context:

  1. A Rhythm of Awareness – Make your team visible and make it clear that people can join the team. One of the best ways we do this at 12Stone is through stories. Here is a link to a recent story highlighting the value of Small Group Leadership.
  2. Mechanism for Capturing Interest – A card that is easily available or a form on a website is a great way for people to express interest once they are aware of the opportunity.
  3. Quick Follow Up Plan – When a person expresses interest, make sure they receive a prompt personal responses within 2-3 days.
  4. Short Runways – When you follow up with a potential volunteer give them an opportunity to show up as soon as possible – 1-2 weeks.
  5. Feedback – Give people a way to say “yes” to the organization while saying “no” to a specific role. The best perspective on your system for new volunteers might be the person who was recently served by it.

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